As an artist or manager today, you are presented with an unbelievable array of options when it comes to bringing a release to market. If you have little experience or are just starting out, the choices can be overwhelming. Whether you sign with a label (major or indie) or take a completely DIY approach, your decision will be determined by a range of deciding factors. You have to consider your in-house skillset and experience, your own contacts, your budget and – possibly the biggest consideration of all – whether you are willing to give up ownership and control of your creations.
If you want to retain ownership of your copyrights, make your own decisions and receive the lion’s share of income generated from your work, then label services is for you.
The label services market has grown hugely over the last 10 years. Since Absolute was founded in 1998, we have witnessed numerous competitors come to market in all shapes and sizes, offering different degrees of service and delivering varying results. We’ve seen the majors each launch their own apparent label services divisions. More recently, we’ve seen consolidation within the sector, with those same major corporations swallowing independent label services companies in high profile acquisitions. Do these big money purchases improve the service received by major label clients or are they simply an exercise in inflating market share?
It’s never been easier to get your release to market. It’s also never been harder to choose which route you go down.
So, what makes a good label services company?
A good label services company should add value at every step of the journey, empowering their clients’ businesses and ultimately helping artists achieve the success they desire.
Above all else, we believe that taking the label services route is about independence. And when we say independence, what we really mean is freedom. Freedom to release the music that you want in the manner that you choose.
As a label services provider, our own independence is equally important. It means we aren’t beholden to a higher corporate structure, we don’t have to answer to far away shareholders, and we don’t need to engage with any third-party aggregator that will cloud the chain and take a fee before delivering your music to digital service platforms.
As the rightsholder, you need to choose the right label services partner – one that has the time to invest into your project.
A staggering 60,000 tracks get uploaded to Spotify every single day. That’s almost 22 million songs every year, all competing for eyes and ears.
It’s never been easier to get your music to market, but it’s never been harder to get it heard. You need to be ‘match-fit’ before you release, have a clear plan for future releases, and maintain a steady stream of high quality content throughout each campaign cycle.
You need a partner that will make you aware of new platforms, initiatives, strategies or promotional opportunities that are the right fit for you. You need time to carefully consider all these factors with a partner who will listen to your needs, adapt accordingly and advise you appropriately. However, when you’re fully equipped to do so, the final decision should be yours – you are in control.
Whoever you choose as your label services partner, they must have the time to invest in you and your project and be able to provide a bespoke plan for your unique, individual needs. There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ in this business.
Absolute is one of the few remaining truly independent label services companies. That means we’re not in the ‘numbers game’ when it comes to our clients. We are selective and, as a result, can give every artist that we work with the attention and treatment they deserve.
Before you engage with a partner for label services, ask…
- Do they add value with resources and expertise you don’t have already?
- Do they have independent access to the whole market with no barriers to entry?
- Can they provide you with detailed, real-time data about your campaign?
- Are they able to adapt quickly to unforeseen changes and new opportunities?
- Do they have a top-notch creative team?
- Can they evolve and innovate as the music business changes and your career progresses?
- Will you be in control of decisions?
- Will you be free to do what you do best – create?